More searching – of Advertising Age, Google and YouTube – has yet to reveal information about Barack Obama’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” hotel chain commercial, mentioned here on Friday.
I’ve also checked HGTV and Fox News sites hoping to find advertising playlists. No luck. I checked those two sites because I watch very little TV – Fox News for about 20 minutes on weekdays at 6:40PM EST and HGTV because, since my wife is a devotee, it is often on when I wander through the room. It seems likely the commercial appeared on one of the two.
Abandoning precision and the high-tech approach momentarily, I asked my wife what entity this commercial was for and she said “a hotel chain… more than one name.” For circumstantial reasons to be revealed, I’m fairly certain this is Choice Hotels International.
I’ve looked at the Choice Hotels website and can find no mention of the ad there, either. It is conspicuous by its absence, even on their media page. If it’s theirs you’d think they’d be proud of it. The evidence for thinking it is a Choice Hotels spot may be circumstantial, but as Henry David Thoreau said, “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.” Following are the trout.
All this searching did turn up the fact that one Stewart W. Bainum, Jr, Chairman of the Board of Choice Hotels, appears to have donated $2,300 to Barack Obama’s primary campaign fund on February 8th and on June 11th this year.
Note there are other Stewart Bainums listed at that link, pay attention to Manor Care and Choice Hotels as indicators regarding this particular Stewart Bainum. He has been as about as personally generous to Democrats as the law allows for a long time. He was a member of Business Leaders for Kerry-Edwards in 2004. Mr. Bainum ‘s credentials are well established.
Here are other connect-the-dots tidbits:
Top Clinton-Era FCC Officials Backing Obama
This evening [date not given, post appeared on June 27, 2007], former FCC Chairman William Kennard will be co-hosting (along with BET President Debra Lee and others) a fundraising soiree for Democratic presidential contender Barrack Obama at the National Music Center, the old Carnegie Library, at Eighth and K in Northwest Washington.
From there, Obama will take the short ride to the Chevy Chase, Md., home of Choice Hotels Chairman Stewart Bainum Jr. for another fundraiser that Julius Genachowski helped organized. Genachowski is former chief counsel to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and legal aide to Kennard when Kennard was general counsel.
This Web site allows you to follow the money trail of campaign “bundlers” – or people who funnel money to campaigns – as they collect thousands, and sometimes even millions, of dollars from other people for the 2008 presidential candidates.
Note that someone named Sandy Bainum is identified in addition to Stewart as having raised “more than” $50,000 for Barack Obama. A relation? Perhaps not, but Mr, Bainum’s relations have assisted in financing his favored candidates in the past.
Political Donations Become a Family Affair
[FEC spokesman Bob] Biersack said the FEC investigates when it gets a complaint that contributions from family members are used to skirt limits on individuals.
He said there have been at least six cases where the FEC has found violations that involved excessive giving through children. The most recent example was a case involving Stewart Bainum, [same one] a former Maryland state senator and who was fined $4,000 in 1996 for contributions made through his infant son, Biersack said.
In the previous post on this topic I wondered, half in jest, how the FEC would deal with the campaign contribution value of a TV commercial featuring a Presidential candidate. We may get a chance to find out.